Wales’ Best Kept Secret
We’re rather large fans of the finer things in life, and our holidays are, of course, one of them. We’ve found as of late UK holidays seem to be quite an emerging Thing, and at first we were in disbelief. British holidays conjure images of gigantic, faceless holiday parks with caravans arranged in rows as far as the eye can see, spits of sand heaving with deckchairs and sunburnt revellers, and £10 holiday deals from tabloid newspapers. While we’re not exactly ones to knock that sort of holiday, it’s certainly not our thing. We like our extras – be them fluffy robes, wonderful toiletries, or individually styled suites. A British Caravan Holiday is not that. Imagine our surprise when we found a number of very high quality hotels in Conwy, which provide romantic retreats which are fantastic experiences, even if the Welsh weather doesn’t cooperate.
At the heart of North Wales lies the Groes Inn- Apparently the oldest inn in Wales- possessive of all the oldy-timey charm you’d expect from a Welsh character building. Wrapped in aged vines, the Groes Inn strikes a very pretty picture from the outside with it’s hanging baskets, matching outdoor furniture and expansive gardens. Yet we felt a vague sense of dread. While historically, the quaint cottage look, with wooden beams, gigantic fireplaces and spoons on the wall is very… Welsh (when on holiday in Wales, can you expect more?) We’re not fans. We like double-glazing, for a start.
We were relieved to find that the Groes Inn’s High Cabin is anything but traditional. We were given the keys to the building and a map to the secluded log cabin, which is on the side of a particularly pretty section of the Welsh Hillside. We found the views stunning, ancient woodlands providing quite the view alongside the rolling valleys and peaks of the middle of Snowdonia. The feeling is spectacular. You’re entirely and completely alone. And truthfully, it’s wonderful.
The cabin’s comforts are myriad and many. Our favourites included the kingsize bed, a gorgeous bathroom that’s indeed, capable of producing hot water regardless of the cabin’s remote location, a very well-stocked kitchen, a very handsomely decorated lounge, some recent DVDs for when you just don’t want to move, as well as some rather lovely toiletries. Our absolute favourite was the hot tub. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is. Heated to 37°C, we found it wonderful for stargazing, and of course drinking champagne from the High Cabin’s fully-stocked kitchen.
This is absolutely not a typical holiday in North Wales. You won’t find yourself elbowing through people at the beach, or standing in line in a tatty hotel, wondering if the carpets are older than you. This is modern, this is new, and the best kept secret in Wales ensures that it truly feels that you’re the only people in the world.